Feminism | Posted by LodB on 02/22/2012

Doctors, Nurses And One Terrific Professor

[caption id="" align="alignleft" width="145" caption="language matters"][/caption] Recently, I was taking a course on linguistics, and we were discussing syntax. My professor asked the class-- a room of roughly a hundred English students, mostly female-- what pronoun to use when replacing the noun ‘boss’. It wasn’t a very serious question, but the response made him stop in his tracks. Over half the class had casually, but eagerly, called out ‘he’. It wasn’t until my astonished professor eyed us that everyone realised what they had said: that they had confirmed something we all thought to have been a thing of the past. There were nervous giggles and some shocked faces, including my own, because what’s so horrific is that I hadn’t realized it either.

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Feminism | Posted by Talia on 02/10/2012

Thoughts On Gender-Neutral Speech

does gender-neutral language really matter?

As I was doing my AP Psychology homework about the psychology of language recently, I came across some interesting studies about the effect of using gender-neutral speech.

Janet Hyde, a professor of psychology and women’s studies at University of Wisconsin – Madison, conducted a study in 1984 where she asked children to finish stories for which she gave them a first line, like “When a kid goes to school, ___ often feels excited on the first day.” When Dr. Hyde used the word he in the blank, almost all of the kids’ stories were about boys. When she used he or she, about a third of the stories were about girls. This effect is not only present in children, but has also been seen in …

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Feminism | Posted by Megan E on 02/6/2012

Transgender: An Overview

Many people don’t know what being transgender means. I, not being transgendered, don’t fully understand every aspect of it either but my fiancée is in the middle of transitioning so I want to express what I do know. Here is some information I’ve gathered about people transitioning from one gender to another.

Being transgender means feeling that you are a different gender than your physical biology. It means that a person does not see themselves as the biological gender they were born into. In other words they do not feel that their gender matches their sex (their body parts). Some people (like my sociology professor) refer to a person transitioning as “man to woman” or “woman to man” because (as he describes it) people transitioning are only transitioning their gender, …

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Feminism | Posted by Julie Z on 01/21/2012

Saturday Vids: Riley On Marketing

In which a little girl realizes gender is a construct and that girls and boys can both like pink and superheros. I want one just like this.

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Feminism | Posted by Julie Z on 01/6/2012

Finals and the Curse of the Perfect Girl

The number one question my high school friends always ask me whenever we chat now is, “So are you sick of being around all those girls yet?” Despite the fact that I have attempted to explain my decision to attend a women’s college a seemingly infinite amount of times, I always answer no – that being around women has been a really supportive experience, a nice change of pace and a really beneficial academic experience so far. Or at least that was my answer up until finals.

The thing is, I go to an extremely competitive, academically rigorous school. I don’t really care what the official rankings are, all I know is that I am surrounded by the most hyper-motivated, incredibly intelligent people I have ever encountered. This was something …

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Pop-Culture | Posted by Peg T on 11/4/2011

School Crossing Signs

You’ve seen the signs I mean – silhouette figures of two children about to cross the road: one boy, one girl. (How do we tell? One’s wearing a skirt.) (That’d be the girl.) (Really, do most girls still wear skirts to school?)

So, yes, let’s emphasize sex. Boy and Girl. Ms. and Mr. Nothing else matters.

And nothing else is possible.

Note that the boy is taller. ‘Oh, but they are.’ Not at that age! Taller suggests older which suggests more mature, wiser. And just in case you miss this not-so-subtle suggestion of male authority, look, he has his hand on the little girl’s shoulder – guiding, protecting, patronizing. It will be there for the rest of her life.

Just to make sure of that, we have this social understanding …

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Pop-Culture | Posted by Julie Z on 06/4/2011

Saturday Vids: Storm, The Genderless Baby

Over the past few weeks, the story of a Canadian couple who is keeping the gender of their baby, named Storm, a secret, has made headlines. Their reasoning seems to be that they want to allow their child to choose his/her own gender. They want to help him/her avoid feeling trapped by gender and to give him/her more freedom to express himself/herself. Of course, controversy ensued, even resulting in a segment on the Today show.

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Feminism | Posted by Annie A on 05/2/2011

My Reasons Why

Tonight I spoke with the grandfather of a friend of mine after a basketball game. The game had just ended, and we were standing around, waiting for the team to emerge from the locker room, making the usual sort of losing team whiny small talk that one might expect, when a cheerleader walked by. We had seen her all night, selling raffle tickets, flirting with the guys’ team, doing her cheer thing, but mostly, we saw her wearing that uniform.

Now at the end of the game, she’s walking to her locker room, minding her own business, and this sweet little old man looks at me and comments, “I guess she likes that uniform.” “Uh I guess so” was all I could say, not really feeling …

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